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Breaking the Brass Ceiling: Women Police Chiefs and Their Paths to the Top
by:Dorothy M. Schulz
Constituting fewer than 15% of the nation's police officers, women have found it especially difficult to rise through the ranks and achieve higher posts. Here, those few women who have made it to the top—about 1% of the chiefs and sheriffs in American policing—share their stories and describe the challenges they faced as they rose to their positions. Each...
Constituting fewer than 15% of the nation's police officers, women have found it especially difficult to rise through the ranks and achieve higher posts. Here, those few women who have made it to the top—about 1% of the chiefs and sheriffs in American policing—share their stories and describe the challenges they faced as they rose to their positions. Each of the chiefs compted for their offices with other candidates, almost always male. The sheriffs—virtually all elected officials— came under even closer scrutiny. While few in number, these top cops illustrate the emergence of women as more than token leaders of American sheriff and police departments. They are unique groundbreakers who have managed to breach the brass ceiling.Here is the fascinating story of how individual women are setting a pace for other women in one of the most male-dominated public service fields in America, second only behind firefighting in its image as a place where few women have successfully negotiated careers to the top. Who are these women, and how did they earn the top spot? Are they nontraditional women, or women in nontraditional positions? Do they share common characteristics in terms of family backgrounds, race, ethnicity, age, or marital status? To what do they attribute their success in the face of overwhelming obstacles? How can their experiences with education, careers, service, and assignments help other women achieve similar success in this field or in others? Schulz answers these questions as she vividly recounts the paths to the top for these determined and exceptional women.
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